Thursday, March 19, 2009


 Sachin Tendulkar passed new milestones in his 157-Test career on Thursday, posting his 52nd half century and becoming the second most-capped player in history as India reached 278 for four on the second day of the series-opening match against New Zealand.Tendulkar is in between two ex-Australian captains on the all-time Test list, surpassing All Border's 156 and moving closer to Stephen Waugh's all-time record of 168.He marked the occasion with an unbeaten 70, one of three batsmen to reach half centuries as India approached New Zealand's first innings of 279 with six wickets in hand before bad light stopped play.Gautam Gambhir made 72, Rahul Dravid 66 and VVS Laxman 30 in an Indian batting performance which was steady but which never entirely crushed the resistance of the New Zealand team.

The 105-run second-wicket partnership between Gambhir and Dravid was the largest on a day on which India added 249 runs for four wickets in 83.5 overs.Gambhir and Virender Sehwag put on 37 for the first wicket, Dravid and Tendulkar 35 for the third, Tendulkar and Laxman 61 for the fourth and Yuvraj Singh had added 60 with Tendulkar for the fifth by stumps.India steadily accumulated through the day in mostly favourable batting conditions but New Zealand's seam-based bowling attack persevered, stifling India's run flow and preventing any partnership becoming overwhelming.The tourists trailed by one run at stumps but their immensely powerful batting line-up, including a top five with more than 100 Test centuries among them, never entirely dominated.India resumed at 29 without loss after a 15-minute rain delay and lost Sehwag, who had moved from 22 overnight to 24, to a wasteful run-out in the third over.

Gambhir worked the ball to midwicket where it was fielded by the left-handed James Franklin. The batsmen took an easy single as the ball approached the fieldsman but Gambhir called for a second on the throw and Franklin uprooted the non-striker's stumps from 30 metres.The ensuing partnership between Gambhir and Dravid was India's most profitable and most authoritative, Gambhir partly atoned for the run out of Sehwag. The left-hand, right-hand pair brought conflicting styles and batting strategies to the crease but accumulated runs with a similar sense of acquisitiveness.Gambhir reached his 10th half-century in Tests in 117 minutes from 97 balls with eight fours. He sought to negate any possible swing or seam on a pitch partly freshened by morning rain by walking out of his crease to meet the medium pacers.

Gambhir eventually fell to Chris Martin who achieved a little reverse swing and drew a lavish drive from the left-hander who delivered a catch to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum at shoulder height.Dravid went on to his 54th Test half-century from 108 balls with 10 fours but his partnership with Tendulkar was unusually short-lived. The pair have scored more than 5,000 Test runs in partnerships for India but had added only 35 when Dravid was bowled by Iain O'Brien.Dravid's defence had seemed impenetrable until O'Brien produced an effort ball which hurried him, cut inside his vertical bat and knocked down his middle stump.New Zealand took the second new ball in the 81st over and immediately gained Laxman's wicket, caught at second slip by Ross Taylor off Martin. Laxman, on 15, had been dropped on the boundary by Iain O'Brien off Franklin and Tendulkar had offered a chance at 14 to Daniel Flynn off Daniel Vettori.That was a fleeting glitch in Tendulkar's innings and the range of his stroke-play broadened as he became more confident at the crease, unleashing cuts which rifled with accuracy past a stranded offside field.He reached his half-century in 180 minutes from 118 balls with his eighth four.

1 comment:

nishant said...

First inning was good but after watching the second inning of india i felt very sad. India was in a strong position. But now they have given a big chance to newzeland to win this test match.
Only four wickets are left for india with a weak score (82-6).The first innings make us feel good but the second inning disappoint us.